I'd like to remove 3000 square feet of lawn that I water with sprinklers here in Mesa, Arizona. I'd replace it with the crushed granite that is the prevalent desert landscaping ground cover here. The lawn-watering season is almost 9 months long. My home is average sized (1800 square feet) and we are a family of four. What percentage of water use would I save?
Roman F. ~ Mesa, Arizona
Roman, the EPA estimates that as much as 1/3 of all the water consumed by American households is used for landscape irrigation. So if you convert your patch of non-native green grass to a more water-wise desert landscape, then your family should be able to cut down its water consumption by a significant amount. I have spent some time in the Southwest and during my visits I was always shocked to see how many green patches of manicured Kentucky bluegrass were sitting in the middle of the brown Sonoran Desert! I think you are making a wise choice, both in terms of saving money and conserving water.
Another positive change which might happen when you replace your green grass with a decomposed granite ground cover is that you should have more time to enjoy the outdoors, because you won't have to mow the lawn every Saturday! Good luck and smart move.